COVID-19, General

Update on Our Reentry Plans

December 22, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: December 22, 2021

Social Security Administration LogoWe want to give you an update on our preparations for returning our employees to local Social Security offices, a process called reentry.

You may have seen a proposed reentry date of January 3, 2022 in the draft reentry plan that we provided to our unions, or in the media. While some executives reentered on December 1, we have not set a reentry date for the rest of the agency.

The best way to reach us is online at SSA.gov, or by calling our National 800 Number or a local Social Security office. At this time, please remember that we can only provide in-person service by appointment only for limited, critical issues. And we continue to hold voluntary hearings by online video and phone. We are taking steps to increase in-person help for people unable to complete their business online or by phone.

We will keep you updated on our reentry process.


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

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  1. DENNIS P.

    WHY WAS MY DECEMBER SS CHECK PAID SHORT BY $244.00 ? NOT GREAT TIMMING WITH XMAS HERE !

    Reply
    • Dennis P.

      Because you are an ALL-CAPS kind of guy.

      Reply
    • AJ T.

      Why? Because your TIMMING was off.

      Reply
    • Fellow A.

      I would agree with AJ T. Notices are sent letting you know whats going to happen before they happen. Whether you choose to actually read the letter, thats on you. Your timming was off.

      Reply
      • AJ T.

        Gotta get that timming right. Otherwise, you’ll ruin your klok.

        “Timming.” Good lord. Timming. Whenever a foreigner accuses Americans of being the most stupid people on Earth, how can I possibly argue with them and disagree? I can’t, they’re right!

        Reply
        • Harvey W.

          The doors to America are not locked. If you want to leave, you can do so any tim. LOL

          Reply
      • Leah G.

        Wrong. Notices are not always sent beforehand. Trust me on that one. I’ve got notices sent to me, that conflict other notices sent to me, that were all mailed out months after the dates those notices claim decisions were made. Heck I’ve got multiple voicemail, dated way before during and after all kinds of those letters and notices were sent. It all says, we do y actually have any right to do anything to you but we are going to do it anyways and keep doing it. By the way this notice is to notify you that we decided you do this to you way before we even thought about doing this to you.
        That’s what real social security notices are.

        Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Dennis. We are sorry to hear that. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Jean M.

        I have been trying to locate the mailing address for the Honolulu, Hawaii SS office to mail a very important SSA-521 (“Request for Withdrawal of Application”) form before the December 31, 2021 deadline but when I click on the link you provided above and also do a search for “office locator” using your website search bar, it takes me to the following page which says that the page does not exist! Please fix this ASAP as it is the only way to communicate with my local office is to mail this form.
        https://www.ssa.gov/admin/error.htm
        Thank you.

        Reply
        • David

          The correct URL from the ssa.gov is ssa.gov/locater. It seems that some links on the ssa.gov homepage aren’t working. You may want to try calling the phone number that Ann C. posted and saying that you want to locate an office.

          Reply
      • David S.

        My January SSI for 2022 went from $96 before COLA and $100 After, that’s $4 which is not 5.9% raise.

        Reply
        • Vonda

          For your security, David, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this information helps.

          Reply
      • Ray D.

        Public affairs specialist = propaganda functionary. Call the national number and when you do get through finally you speak to someone who has no clue and tells you to call your regional office. Occasionally you can get through to them after getting booted after being on ignore for 20 minutes. Who do you idiots think you’re fooling? The clown you do eventually reach says there’s nothing they can do and you should wait and see if it magically fixes itself in 30 days. I was a civil servant for 20 years and worked like a dog, travelled over 50% most years and used to resent how people spoke of civil servants. Now I understand.

        Reply
      • rob g.

        Dear Ann C.

        The SSA Office in Harrisburg simply hangs up when you call.
        Further, the number you provided above has NO representatives to pick up the phone. I am currently at the 1 hour mark waiting to report extraordinary income for 2022.

        Maybe SSA should insure production levels of workers staying at home.

        regards,
        Rob G

        Reply
        • Dawn

          I AGREE!!!!! I want to change the Direct deposit. I called many times. I sit on hold for 45 minutes (and I get that its busy) but the one time I get through the person BARELY awake tells me it is updated. I look 3 weeks later online it is not updated so I call again. finally get through after 33 minutes on hold. A women answers that I can barely hear because she again is barely awake. She takes my information puts me on hold.. Comes back.. I hear the line is open but does not respond to me . I sit there for 5 minutes YES 5 minutes and then she disconnects the call. I believe it is full of people who do not want to work. I am desperately trying to get my Son’s survivor benefits sent to the correct account how hard is that ? But I do not have access to that online

          Reply
          • Vonda

            Hi Dawn, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you are the representative payee for your son, you can conduct business for him in your my Social Security account. The Representative Payee Portal is a central portal where you can conduct your own Social Security business or manage direct deposit, obtain a proof of income letter and view benefit details for your son that you are payee for. We hope this helps!

        • Holly M.

          I have had the same issue with the Harrisburg, PA office. You don’t even get an option to wait on hold…no way to speak with anyone at all.

          Reply
  2. Sarah J.

    I have had two simple questions running through my mind since the Government decided it was safe to open businesses with varying mitigation measures yet didn’t open some government offices.

    1) IF IT IS SAFE EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE USA, WHY THE HECK ARE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES ACTING ANY DIFFERENT????!!!!!! DOES THE GOVERNMENT NOT TRUST THEIR OWN PROTOCOLS TO BE SUFFICIENT??!!

    2) HOW MUCH MONEY HAS BEEN SAVED BY KEEPING THE OFFICES CLOSED AND WHERE EXACTLY IS THE MONEY GOING? IS IT GOING INTO SOCIAL SECURITY TO DEFER THE UPCOMING DEFICIT??

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Belle

      As a recently retired employee we are still working mostly from an alternate location. We had to pay our own expenses to connect and a priority before I retired was put on answering phones not processing claims. Which we all know just increase phone calls.

      Social Security processes disability claims as well as cards, Medicare, ssi, survivors and retirement. In my work history we have had people with active TB active staph infections and other communicable diseases show up jeopardizing the entire waiting room. In addition many employees are retirement eligible but continue to work. It only takes one error in public judgement to put an entire workforce and customers at risk. I applaud the delay in reopening because there is little that can’t be handled by mail or phone or drop box.

      Reply
      • ARP

        Except that your own procedures require in person documents to be brought for many things and we are now waiting years (2 years for us so far) to get help as though we are a third world country.

        And guess what–everybody in public could end up with someone with an active TB staph infection, COVID, or any other communicable disease in the vicinity–**you are no different than anybody else.** You are not special. This is a fact true of all public environments. That situation you described has always been true and the government does not have the right to not open because of it. That’s just what life is–risk.

        We are taxpayers paying for services we are not getting.

        Reply
      • Maggie

        It is also risky for people to apply for benefits on the internet. Many of those applying are elderly and ALREADY at risk for identity theft. This decision to stay closed puts them at greater risk.
        There is absolutely NO reason to stay closed.

        Reply
  3. Chris N.

    In order to apply for benefits you have to created an Social Security Account. It now required to go to Login.gov or ID.me but the process I keep having is they cannot identify who I am so I cannot create an account to apply for benefit. To make an appointment my local office have a 2 months waiting list.

    Reply
    • Belle

      Contact your congressman for increased funding for years the agency has not been allowed to replace the employees they loose and unbeknownst to the public it takes six mo classroom and three year apprenticeship to be cut loose to serve the public without review.

      Reply
      • Harvey W.

        loose = not tight

        lose = to not win; to not have any more

        Reply
  4. BL

    The rest of us have to be back in the office to work including the postal folks it doesn’t seem right that you all are still not back. Simple request like Social Security card replacements take a ridiculous amount of time compared to pre-Covid. Let’s go folks

    Reply
    • Amy S.

      It will still be the same time frame if you went in!

      Reply
      • Dianna R.

        Let’s get with. There are safety measures that can be put in place and limit the amount of people.This is going on till who knows when

        Reply
    • Fellow A.

      Simple request like Social Security card replacement can be done online. Create a mySocialSecurity account in order to apply for it. No need to go to the office.

      Reply
    • Sharon D.

      TAX PAYER 45 YEARS AGREEING WITH YOU! EVERYONE ELSE IS FIGURING OUT HOW TO MASK, HAVE PROTECTIVE SHIELDS AT THEIR STATIONS AND KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCING EXCEPT THE SSA ADM WHO NEEDS TO PROCESS “EARNED” RETIREMENT CREDITS AND DISABILITY? 🤔

      Reply
    • Joni N.

      So true, and they want you to mail in your DL. Which then means you can’t drive and must wait for them and hope they don’t lose it. That is what they told me on the phone. Not everyone who is disabled is physically disabled some can’t use online. As Desi said, “They got some splaing to do” as to why they haven’t come back to in person being essential workers.

      Reply
    • Belle

      Ssa serves the most vulnerable population the disabled. You can not compare mailbox with communicable diseases. I have had active TB clients, active MRSA clients, folks with open wounds all come in to the office in my career. I am retired now but be grateful for the abundance of caution.

      Reply
      • Harvey W.

        How do you know people have active TB? (versus just having the TB bacterium but inactive)

        Are they not being treated? (so not contagious probably)

        As for MRSA, this is a wound staph infection that is probably not a threat to you if the wound is covered. Not sure what to say about open wounds, but you are not touching those, are you?

        Reply
  5. Jonathan P.

    The biggest problem is not the video chat or phone interview. The biggest problem is applying for disability for medical reasons and the judge makes a decision totally disregarding the medical evidence.

    Reply
    • Ann

      Exactly!!! 💯

      Reply
    • Dave H.

      Agreed!!!!!!

      Reply
    • Michael D.

      This is exactly what I’m going through going on 2 years now waiting for hearing with an administrative judge for almost a year and a half 62 been disabled since 40 you can’t get ahold of the same person the local offices are closed down and each individual you speak with gives a different response to your question nobody seems to know a definite answer about anything in the meantime they continuously steal money from the people as well as me that is that is not owed to them and you play hell getting any of it back I’ve gone as far as contact in the Attorney General the governor the mayor and anybody else who would listen that other 193 phone calls

      Reply
    • lisa c.

      Yes I think it is I have heart surgery,neck fusion SI joint fusion and need back surgery and another neck surgery,and Lymphocyte and stay sick all the time with infection and its in the small bowels and cold and asthma and I being trying to get what I work for,for 6yrs they say it’s not may health its because my credits just ran out last year I have work since I was 15 I had to get a permit to work and I’m 49 but I have a go lawyer know I hope I get it this time I been turn down 4 times in 6yrs and he said the don’t even SS don’t even look good at your Medical records and they make that decision and they don’t know what you go through everyday.

      Reply
    • Kathie M.

      I consider myself so lucky to have been approved for my disability on the first try. I feel blessed!

      Reply
  6. Crystal G.

    I had a Disability Review during the past 5 months and it went through fine. If someone wants to contact an office, they can call or use the toll-free hotline. I have had good luck with these, even if I do have to wait. I also hold my place in line and wait for a call back. I don’t know the process to make an appointment, but I haven’t needed one so far. I have gotten my payment every month, so I do not know why these two are complaining. And with the omicron variant going around the country, I think it is warranted that the offices stay open by appointment only until the CDC provides further guidance. Unlike these two, I understand it is to protect the disabled and elderly individuals relying on Social Security and the employees, as we are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than most. I had an additional dose of Moderna Thursday, so I’m thankful I did.

    Reply
    • Anna P.

      Crystal the only one here making sense

      Reply
    • Nancy H.

      Calling SSA is much better- I prefer it and it’s safer for me and the employees, some of which are vulnerable to COVID themselves. Why risk community spread when teleworking is fine??? Let’s get through this pandemic safely, it’s not over yet and cases are higher than ever.

      Reply
    • Harvey W.

      Glad your case has been handled to your satisfaction. Try to comprehend that it is not so easy for many other people.

      Reply
      • Stephanie S.

        If you lived in NJ, you would know why! They are rude and hang up on you. You wait hours before the phone even gets picked up only to “accidentally” be hung up on. They are slowly killing off the people who have worked their whole life with frustration. This should be an easy process, not a full time career to get help.

        Reply
        • Lucie A.

          This is very true. Social Security will tell you if you are receiving a check. Don’t call them unless it is an emergency and life and death situation.
          I had tried many times and I was treated with disrespect and they were rude and hung up.

          Reply
  7. Barbara

    Since Nov 2020 I have corresponded multiple times and provided documents to prove I had a life changing event ( retirement) and now you are trying to charge me after allowing this documentation to reduce Medicare B premiums. This is unacceptable. What more do you want?????

    Reply
    • Anna P.

      It’s a new year you have to ask for it again. Keep this in mind for 2023

      Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Barbara. We are sorry to hear that. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Jean

        The “local Social Security office” link you provided above takes us to a page that says the following:

        We Did Not Find The Page You Requested

        You’ve requested a page on the Social Security website that does not exist.

        ????

        Reply
      • Stephanie S.

        Your answers are the same contact the local office. What happens when you are on hold for over 7 hours and the phone doesn’t get answered. I have contacted my congressman and any other state office, but no response.

        Reply
        • Lucie A.

          And you won’t because they are too lazy to do it.
          So you wait and get the same answer that all the other seniors and disabled people get.
          Half of the seniors and disabled people I have talked to are still waiting for their new social security paperwork with their cost of living increase on it.

          Reply
  8. Michael W.

    In 2003 I received a letter from social security that we had a minor child in our home and were entitled to child benefits. I kept calling and getting my file but S.S. never filed our claim for child benefits. I asked for several hearings to let a judge decide but S.S. lost my file again. All the employees that lied and cheated our daughter of her benefits should be fired but that’s what S.S, does, they lie and cheat people who paid into S.S. since 1970!

    Reply
    • Fellow A.

      That does not make sense at all. You “kept calling” and claim SSA “lost” your daughter’s file is highly unlikely. You need to follow up. SSA does let you know of possible eligibilities, in this case your daughter, but doesn’t necessarily mean she would qualify. SSA might have denied it the same time you applied known as a techical denial.

      Reply
  9. Bob B.

    It has been excruciatingly maddening to unsuccessfully make contact with individuals in various offices. Many of our disability clients have been stalled at the initial or reconsideration level for more than one year with no indication that the claim has even been assigned to anyone, let alone developed in a timely manner. The inability to speak with a Social Security representative in real time is frustrating in the least, unproductive at best, and certainly damaging to our needful clients. They deserve better treatment during these processes.

    Reply
    • Dave H.

      Absolutely agree…

      Reply
    • John S.

      Just letting you know Bob that these delays would still occur even if you went inside to sit down with someone to hear it face to face

      Reply
    • Fellow A.

      Best believe that SSA is working on claims non-stop. Just as so, every person applying has claim check thoroughly which is why cases take long. SSA reviews all the facts of the case. Check the link below.

      https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/qualify.html#anchor3

      Reply
  10. LInda V.

    SSA local offices should have been re-opened months ago. This is just a way to not be responsive to the public and the people who depend on SSA benefits. It has caused significant delays in benefit changes and payments and has been totally unprofessional

    Reply
    • BL

      Amen

      Reply
    • John S.

      The work is the same whether you go inside or not. What exactly is your issue? Call the 800 number they will help you.

      Reply
    • Quitcher B.

      So would you rather them open to a public primarily consisting of the disabled and elderly, exposing them to a lobby full of unvaccinated individuals?

      Reply
      • Sharon D.

        SO ATE YOU SAYING THERE ARE NO LOBBY OR CORRIDOR FULL OF UNVACCINATED PEOPLE ST MALLS, POST OFFICES, ETC AND THE VACCINATED AREN’T STILL CATCHING THIS CRAP THAT WAS CREATED THRU DOING TOO F N MUCH WITH SCIENCE?

        Reply
    • Nancy H.

      I disagree, it’s so incredibly dangerous to reopen to the public right now as COVID cases are higher than ever. SSA handles claims over the phone the same as in person, and it’s a much safer option for both the public and the employees. If there are payment delays etc. it is not related to telework.

      Reply

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